Agricultural Reforms, Land Distribution, and Non-Sugar Agricultural Production in Cuba
Since 2007, the Cuban government has introduced a series of agricultural reforms to increase non-sugar agricultural production and reduce the country’s dependency on food and agricultural imports. The most important agricultural reforms implemented in Cuba (so far) include: (a) increases in the prices paid by the state for selected agricultural products, (b) restructuring the Ministry of Agriculture (MINAGRI) and the Ministry of the Sugar Industry (MINAZ), (c) a new agricultural tax system, (d) the authorisation of direct sales and commercialisation of selected agricultural products, (e) micro-credits extended by stateowned banks to private farmers and usufructuaries, and (f) the expansion of usufruct farming. These reforms have contributed to the redistribution of Cuba’s agricultural land from the state to the non-state sector, notable reductions in idle (non-productive) agricultural land, and mixed results in terms of agricultural output. However, they have not been able to sufficiently incentivise output and reduce the country’s high dependency on agricultural and food imports to satisfy the needs of its population. Achieving these long-desired objectives requires the implementation of more profound structural reforms in this vital sector of the Cuban economy.